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Do you and your spouse have different ideas about this?


Scarlett
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I mean… it would depend on the info, I suppose. And timing, I guess.

When I had a traumatic ectopic pregnancy and eventual rupture, I was PISSED that my mil was calling her friends from my ER cubicle. And I wasn’t comfortable sharing the specifics with those around me for a few weeks. But now I’m very open about my experience.

Dh is pretty open with friends, but he wasn’t comfortable talking about the big V until more men were talking about it.

I can’t really imagine a one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to the enormous umbrella of health.

I don’t think there are very many people who are interested in my health details. I probably talk about my mental health more than people want me to!

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I honestly have no idea how much health info my dh shares with his friends. 

I share my health info on a need-to-know basis. If I'm already worried about something, I don't have the energy to deal with other people's emotions about it.  I tend to keep things under my hat until I know what's going on. 

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It totally depends on the issue. Appendicitis or even something like a hysterectomy for fibroids are a world away from a serious, life limiting or life changing diagnosis. Neither of us is secretive, but we've learned the hard way not to be open books about our serious issues (especially his cancer), either. We've learned to err on the side of maintaining our own mental health versus having to deal with comments, some of which can be downright nuts.

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I don't share much unless there is a reason.  

But I'm not sure why it would be difficult if one was a sharer and one was not, if you are talking about each person sharing their own information. Do you mean you feel free to share each other's? 

My husband used to share my medical stuff with his parents; it just seemed natural to him if he was talking to them and they asked 'how is margaret?" to answer truthfully, so if something was going on, he'd tell them. I asked him to stop that because I didn't want them to know of anything wrong with me, no matter how minor. 

 

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💯 In my family if my dad had a hemorrhoid, my mom would make sure we all know. So, my family shares ALL the info with each other. Basically we tell my mom and say pass it on. Dh’s family honestly didn’t even tell us dh’s father was dying. My family overshares and dh and his family’s motto is pretty much keep everything to yourself. It’s wild because dh and I are basically polar opposite in every possible way.

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Dh and I are generally private people, so it wouldn't occur to us to share that.  The exceptions would be as part of a story of something that previously happened, like "oh, yeah, we were on our way to X, remember?  And then we ended up diverted to a hospital, lol"

 

That's about it.  It's not really people's business and while we tend to answer direct questions, we're not likely to volunteer personal info.

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Dh and I are both somewhat private people and I think our standards are similar about this. We would tell our friends/family members about something big (though not in excruciating detail); I.e., when I had bre@st cancer or when he had been in an accident. But I do really hate to imagine people discussing *me* without me present and I think he is similar. So we generally don’t. 

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I like to keep certain things private. Dh used to volunteer more, without thinking much of it. We’ve had a conversation or two where I’ve asked him not to share this or that thing (personal stuff involving me or the boys) around his friends. The boys are adult men and should have their privacy respected. 
 

We also have had to have had specific conversations about not sharing certain types of things with my mom. I now know for sure just how bad she is behind your back, and she will discuss things about you to other family members and say negative things about you. I have talked with Dh about that and warned him not to give her any information about us when he is at her house, which is not very often. She would love to know how much our sons make, for example. We’ve discussed between ourselves to never disclose that as it would immediately be shared with others, and she would compare that to her other grandchildren’s earnings. I have also asked Dh to never share with her if we or I buy things that might be expensive. (She doesn’t know about my new bathroom counters, when I upgrade my Apple Watch, or about my new exercise bike). I try to avoid answering any personal questions at all. Nothing about our leaving our church, etc. Dh is on board with it, thank goodness. 
 

This has not been a problem with us really. Dh used to volunteer more info, but I have convinced him that people gossip no matter how much you trust them. If you don’t want someone knowing A Thing, don’t tell a soul. 
 

Medical stuff…..hmmmmm…..we both might share that around certain friends, but dh wouldn’t share if I specifically asked him not to. 

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For the most part, no, we don’t share our medical information with anyone else. It’s no one‘s business but ours. 

The main exception is if we have personal experience with an illness or injury that can help someone else who is presently going through it.

We are private people and we aren’t big on over-sharing personal family matters, no matter what the topic. 

 

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7 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Sharing info with others,  but specifically medical info?  Dh and I are open books and don’t mind anyone and everyone knowing our medical info.

I think it would be very difficult if one was a sharer and one wasn’t..

I don’t even tell my partner most of my medical info or issues.

Info about my body is given in a “need to know” basis. IMO, 99% of it, no one else needs to know

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We are pretty private about health info here. Not everything is everyone's business. And we don't share each other's health info normally - exception would be if specific condition knowledge would help another person.  ETA: The sharing of each other's health info for the exception would only be if other approved sharing or has been willing to share with that level of individual before (so like a friend vs. random stranger in the grocery store). 

Edited by Bambam
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Dh and I have the same vibe on this for the most part. Pretty open, but also not oversharers outside of close friends.

Here's the first thing I thought when you brought this up though... I respect that some people don't want to share medical info, but some people strike me as downright weird about it. Like, if you have close friends or people who you see constantly, even if they're not super close, then saying, "Yeah, we're going through a thing, we just don't want to talk about it," is way, way less weird than screeching at your child or husband, "We don't share our private business!" when they mention that the reason they have to cancel plans or weren't at something is a medical appointment. And you may think I'm thinking of one incident, but weirdly, I'm thinking of THREE. Because honestly, your kid saying, "we couldn't, there was a doctor appointment" doesn't make me think anything is up because people have doctor appointments all the time for routine everything reasons, but when the mom comes out of nowhere to freak out about people knowing there's a doctor appointment, then let me tell you, I am suddenly wondering what the heck is going on.

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There are too many variables. 
I have been pretty open about my mental health issues, but that is because I think people need to know how difficult it is to get mental health care in America and how - even with the best insurance and access to professionals - it is expensive and impossible to navigate when one is struggling. I don’t think people need to know every dark and dirty part of it, but too many people still brush off mental health issues. 
My DH’s former boss’ wife died by suicide, bipolar, a few years ago and my DH and I both thought the boss had shared way too much private information prior to her death. We didn’t need to know about her manic episodes to have empathy for the family. 
I have shared about my pregnancy complications because I think it is important information for people to have. At some point, I may write a book about my mental health and or my pregnancy, but that is to help educate people, not to make money. 
My DH has cancer and I am trying to be extremely sensitive about what I say because he tends to more private and also because of the nature of his cancer. 
I do think sharing health stuff is one of those filters that people lose as they get older, which is why older people, I think, tend to share way too much. 

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We are on the same page. Like others, we are pretty private when it comes to health issues. Information in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage, intentional or not. Family wise, we each know who to share emergency info with. Other than an emergency, it’s up to each of us who we disclose to. We generally don’t disclose for each other. The exception to that is my husband’s health journey overcoming type 2 diabetes. He has spoken about that at a tech conference & there is a recording out there, so we talk about that when it’s appropriate. 

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I was just thinking a little bit more about this, and to those of you who freely share all of your health information -- are you sure your friends really want to hear about it?

The reason I'm asking is because I have a friend who overshares. She tells me so many things that I don't really want to know about herself, her adult kids, her younger kid, her dh, and her mom. I know she's under a lot of stress so I don't complain, and I try to be a sounding board for her so she can vent, but holy cow, I wish she wouldn't tell me so much about her family's physical and mental health struggles.

It's not that I don't sympathize with her; I truly do feel sorry for her about these things. It's just that it makes me uncomfortable to know that much personal (and what I feel should be private) information about her and her family, particularly when there's nothing I can do to help her. Also... it's exhausting. It just is. 

I want to be a good friend to her, so I keep listening, and I know I'm complaining about it here, but it's not something I need to change right now. I feel like she really needs a sounding board right now, so I deal with it. But I would be lying if I said I didn't wish she was telling someone else all this stuff instead of me.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you are a person who likes to share everything, maybe keep an eye out for little signs that those people really want to hear it. If you're all on the same page, that's great, but they might also be listening politely, but secretly wishing you'd just keep things to yourself. Your medical history and the intimate details of your personal life may not be nearly as interesting to them as it is to you. 

 

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I think we do but it’s never really an issue anymore. Even though it dies t fit my perception of myself, I am actually very private about people knowing medical stuff. It probably stems a bit from early parenting when MIL would share everything with her whole family amplified by her anxiety and it was like the game telephone with concerned great uncles calling asking about my DD’s brain tumor ( she didn’t have a brain tumor.) DH is also a minister which can lead to everyone being invested in this type of thing. So early on we developed communication about what could and couldn’t be shared and when. 
 

And, I do not generally want to hear about other people’s medical issues. I do it for my mom and MIL and for my bff but you would probably be shocked to know how many people tell their pastor’s wife about their bowel problems and intimate procedures—and I don’t mean during a hospital visit or private visit—on the church patio during coffee. I do listen as many of these folks have no one at home to talk to, but I really wish they wouldn’t share. Really. I am happy to pray and fine knowing general issues—heart problem, gastrointestinal issue—but not everything. 

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Medical info - really depends on the info.  With my cancer, no.  I only told my 5 younger kids and my dh with strict instructions NOT to tell any other relatives.  Told 6th dc after everything was over and done with and he just happened to call me one day out of the blue.

I also told my dh NOT to tell anyone *I* had to interact with like landlords, neighbors, ANY other relatives, etc.  I didn't care about his fellow employees because I never saw those people.  I just didn't want to have to deal with the 'looks' and the stories and comments.  Or with the circus that would have been created by his relatives had they found out about it.  My goal was just to get through all of it and move on without any unnecessary distractions.

Now, long after it was all over, I did talk about it occasionally if it seemed like it might help someone (never with other relatives though).  Otherwise, I still don't talk about it IRL.  I probably say more about it here than anywhere else - ever.

I go to a church gym where there are quite a few older people using the track and equipment.  It's small so we see each other frequently.  I actually find it helpful to hear about their various ailments and doctors.  I even ask some 'what they have' sometimes.  They seem very happy to share information and it helps me to be able to ask questions.  A recent example:  One older gentleman walks very slowly and uses a cane.  He does the weight machines while I'm doing the elliptical.  I once asked him what he had, assuming it was arthritis or something.  He said no, it was "overmedication with blood pressure meds".  I was surprised and asked a few more questions and left it at that.  However, later, when my dh began taking bp meds, and began getting dizzy, I shared what that gentleman had told me.  From that, dh was able to work with the doc and they fixed dh's meds and he was fine.  

It's kind of like we all help each other in that particular situation.  But that is somewhat unique.  And I do feel very blessed to be surrounded by these older people who are dealing with serious health issues and don't mind sharing a tiny bit of their stories if I ask them.

Otherwise, no, I don't share my medical info with anyone but my kids and dh.  And dh tells me his med into after the fact, usually.  🙄 

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Sometimes, yes we are quite different about sharing. When dh had his heart attack and was in the hospital waiting for his bypass (it was about a five day wait while some complications were worked out), the kids were there on Father’s Day and were playing Scrabble with dh. He scored a bingo and I happened to catch youngest dd’s reaction because it was game winning by like five points and she was So shocked that he played that at the end. I posted the pic to Facebook not even realizing that in it dh’s hand showed an IV. Close friends knew the situation but when not close friends pointed out the IV and asked I said I wasn’t ready to share. 
Dh didn’t understand why I wouldn’t share. But at that point I didn’t know the outcome, and I was trying to manage my own emotions. To him sharing didn’t matter at all. He didn’t care that I didn’t talk about it on Facebook, but he just didn’t understand why I wouldn’t. 
 

 

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DH is far more of a shared than I am. Especially since his Mom is a nurse and he tells her all kinds of things. 

His mom has made comments about mine and my parents health that are MADE UP. Things that no one told here she just decided to diagnose on her own. 

I tell her nothing.  She may be a nurse. She isn't MY nurse and I have not asked for her advice. 

Edited by theelfqueen
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